Carlo Ancelotti at the Metropolitano on Sunday.Quality Sport Images (Getty Images)
From Madrid who won the League and the Champions League 16 months ago, Carlo Ancelotti has very little left standing, healthy and fully valid in the eyes of the club. The names with which he triumphed have been fading, or directly disappearing for multiple reasons, and the new team that should emerge does not fight yet. Courtois and Militão were seriously injured, Casemiro and Benzema left, and around Kroos and Modric the noise has set in. The central spine of that set does not exist at the moment, or is discussed intramurally, and instead pieces are missing (a world-class nine) and what has emerged is still insufficient. The Bellingham effect doesn't fix everything.
Oblak, Mario Hermoso, Nahuel Molina (Azpilicueta, min. 64), Samuel Lino (Javi Galán, min. 86), Savic, Giménez (Correa, min. 85), Koke (Witsel, min. 45), Saúl, Marcos Llorente, Griezmann and Morata (Depay, min. 82)
RMA Real Madrid
Arrizabalaga, Fran Garcia (Ferland Mendy, min. 56), Alaba, Rüdiger, Lucas Vázquez (Nacho, min. 56), Modric (Joselu, min. 45), Kroos (Brahim Diaz, min. 70), Camavinga (Aurelien Tchouameni, min. 56), Federico Valverde, Jude Bellingham and Rodrygo
Goals 1-0 min. 3: Morata. 2-0 min. 18: Griezmann. 2-1 min. 35: Kroos. 3-1 min. 46: Morata.
Arbitrator Javier Alberola Rojas
Yellow cards Modric (min. 44), Giménez (min. 46), Ferland Mendy (min. 66) and Jude Bellingham (min. 95)
The alignment of the German (33 years) and the Croatian (38) in the blow of the Metropolitano after not having been starters at the same time this course and that the entity encouraged the technician to give more prominence to young people reflected the moment of uncertainty that crosses the white set between what is ending and what is expected. A risky bet for the Italian coach that surprised, even, some employees of Madrid, as they showed in some corrillos after the 3-1, while the coach of Reggiolo did not finish understanding the calamitous performance of the defense.
Carletto's picture lives in a trance conditioned to a large extent by the absence of a top replacement for Benzema, who this weekend celebrated Saudi Arabia's national day in uniform. An undisguised hole that has pushed the white coach, famous for his lack of rebellion and effective pragmatism, to execute a change of system to exploit Bellingham's scoring route within an unbalanced squad, with eight midfielders and only four pure attackers, of which one (Brahim) has barely counted.
Ancelotti's failed return to the old guard
This Sunday, the escape routes affected all lines. The back (without Militão) lacked strength and the general defensive system lacks tension (five goals conceded in the first minutes of each act so far this season). Already last year, the shield had lost solidity and the new drawing, as admitted by the technician, is not the one that most convinces him for the rearguard. Mendy, another pillar of the fourteenth Champions League, has been lost among so many injuries and the recruitment of Fran García has not offered all the certainties to date.
In the average, sold Casemiro, Madrid has not found a replacement. Tchouameni (80 million, the fifth most expensive signing of the club) was diluted after the World Cup and in the Metropolitano he was a substitute. And in the creation of the game, the team has not emancipated itself from Kroos and Modric, but neither do they set the pace as before in the appointments of more fang. Upstairs, without a spare for Benzema, the team acts as a tightrope walker, clinging in this start to the pole of Bellingham. Rodrygo, who is expected to make a scoring jump, scored the first goal in San Mamés and then added 30 shots without wisdom plus a missed penalty.
Beyond the shortcomings in the front – Ancelotti asked for a first level nine, but then accepted that they would not bring it to him – the sirloin of the debate in the construction of a new Madrid is concentrated today in the middle, the plot where he has invested the most since the pandemic: 130 million plus as many for Bellingham. Specifically, in Kroos and Modric, and more after his surprising lineup at the same time against Atletico. With the loss of Vinicius, the coach gave clue to the Balkan and dispensed with Joselu and Tchouameni, against what he had been doing.
Meeting with the core
The envoy by the two veterans was a very striking decision. From the club they had asked him to accelerate the generational transition in that plot, a measure he took in the six previous meetings, with no ownership of both in unison. Then, the substitution of the Croatian at half-time was interpreted as the recognition of a mistake. A measure that can deepen the dissatisfaction that Modric had already shown with his new role. Kroos had accepted it more willingly.
It was intuited in the summer that this would be the most delicate point in the management of the squad for the Italian, although, at the same time, his horizon as a possible Brazilian coach makes him feel free in decision-making. In any case, the issue has increased in volume without reaching October.
A year ago, at the beginning of last season, Ancelotti met with Casemiro, Kroos and Modric, and announced that his minutes would be reduced due to the appearance of fresh meat (Tchouameni and Camavinga, especially). All three fit the message professionally and accepted the challenge of survival. The first left a few days later, eager for the English adventure, but the second two ended up resisting and winning, undisputed in the trickiest encounters. City's 4-0, however, seemed to close that duopoly because of the signals broadcast that night and because, when planning the new course, the club transmitted to Ancelotti the convenience of taking another step in that transition and, at least, not coinciding so many times in the initial plan.
And in those he was in the first duels, until the German and the Croatian returned to the eleven the night in which Atlético ate a ruinous Madrid in defense. The bankruptcy was collective, especially behind, although many eyes ended in the decision to resort again and at the same time to the two most distinguished members of the old guard, for the meaning of their ownership at a time of travel towards a new Madrid that has not yet curdled.
The red-and-white blow forces Ancelotti in the next appointments of height to redefine the roles, or to insist on them until further notice.
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